Featured Reports

Annual Trends in Student Aid and College Pricing

Annual Trends in Student Aid and College Pricing

By Jael Greene

Recently the College Board released their annual higher education trends reports. These reports provide the latest data and information on trends in college pricing and student aid. The reports highlight trends in enrollment, student aid, tuition and fees and other expenses that are associated with higher education.

Key findings include:

  • The average published tuition and fees increased across various types of institutions.
    • At public four-year institutions, the average published in-state tuition and fees rose from $9,670 in 2016-17 to $9,970 in 2017-18, an increase of $300. The average published out-of-state tuition and fees rose from $24,820 in 2016-17 to $25,620 in 2017-18, an increase of $800.
    • At private nonprofit four-year institutions, average published tuition and fees rose from $33,520 in 2016-17 to $34,740 in 2017-18, an increase of $1,220.
    • At public two-year colleges, the average published tuition and fees rose from $3,470 in 2016-17 to $3,570 in 2017-18, an increase of $100.
  • During the 2016-17 school year, full-time undergraduate students received an average of $14,400 in financial aid.
    • On average that breaks down to: $8,440 in grants, $4,620 in federal student loans, $1,280 in education tax credits and deductions and $60 in Federal Work-Study.
  • In 2015-16, just under half of the Pell Grant recipients (47%) were dependent students. 73% of those dependent students came from families whose income was below $40,000.
  • Between 2010 and 2015, enrollment rates varied across sectors.
    • Public four-year institutions saw a 5% increase in enrollment (340,000 students), while the private nonprofit sector saw a 6% rise (203,000 students).
    • Public two-year colleges saw a decrease in enrollment by 11% (908,000 students) and in the for-profit sector enrollment fell by 33% (677,000).
  • The average, annual borrowing amount declined for the sixth consecutive year.
    • In 2016-17, students and parents borrowed $106.5 billion, which a decrease from $125.6 billion in 2010-11 (adjusted for inflation).
    • Total annual borrowing of federal subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loans decreased by 23% between 2011-12 and 2016-17.